Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Never too late

As we progress through the Biblical library, [the] stories interact with one another again and again. Together the reveal an ever-fuller and deeper vision of God.  We come to know a God who consistently refuses to support a pyramidal economy with a few at the top and the masses at the bottom.  We come to trust a God who consistently opposes the oppressors and consistently takes the side of the humble, the vulnerable, and the poor.  We eventually come to understanding God as one who consistently prefers nonviolence over violence, equality over dominancy, and justice over injustice…   God doesn’t uphold the status quo, be repeatedly disrupts it and breaks it open so some thing better can emerge and evolve.

          Brian McLaren, We make the Road by Walking



I was thinking today about the word repent,

A word that people who like to say they follow Jesus throw around a lot.

Kind of a like a hot spiritual potato that no one can handle.


Technically the Greek work metanoia means “after thought”

What we might call hindsight!

Oops!  That didn’t work!


Looking back we see that our old ways don’t’ work.

And thus, supposedly, we change our mind.

And changing our mind, being of sound mind, we change our behavior.




If this is true than those who suggest we “challenge everything” might be right!

At least we should rethink everything.


The problem is that repentance does not seem to come as easily to most of us.

Most of us are pretty obstinate.  And being so we resist change.


We hold fast to patterns of thinking, patterns of living, that deny life.

That deny what is Sacred.


God has been pretty clear!  Economic inequity is bad.

We hang on to toxic capitalism with all our might.


God has been pretty clear.  Injustice is foul! 

And yet we maintain systematic racism.


God has been pretty clear.  Oppression of others, using power abusively is not acceptable.  And yet many Christians embrace an ideology of domination, where might makes right (and having power is sign of blessing).


God insists we act for the common good and we embrace toxic individualism and “freedom.”  (the freedom to be jerks?)


And with Jesus something else became clear.  Violence and hate do not win.  Love wins.  Yet we invest obscene amounts in our military and value guns over children.


We have it all backwards.

And we should be looking back at the shambles that is human history…


and repenting.


But we don’t.  Not nearly enough.

We just blindly keep doing what we are doing and getting what we are getting.

And people are dying.

And the animals are dying.

And the planet is dying.


How we are living is not sustainable.

In the name of God people are violating God and God’s way, and we are paying the price.


What will it take?

Is it too late?


I guess that is where our history with the Sacred becomes good news.

It seems as if it is never too late.

“God is [always] up to something surprising and amazing in our world.  While we’re busy plotting evil, God is plotting goodness” (p. 24 McLaren)


Sometimes we want to give up, but as Paul suggests we should never tire of doing good.


So we need to look back.  See the patterns that don’t work. 

Then look forward, and go with God.

We make the road by walking.

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